Fall, 2007

Momo is a haptic navigation device

Momo is a haptic navigational device that requires only the sense of touch to guide a user. No maps, no text, no arrows, no lights. It sits in the palm of your hand and leans, vibrates, and gravitates towards a preset location. Akin to someone pointing you in the right direction, there is no need to find your map, you simply follow as the device leans toward your destination.

Momo is twelve inches tall, it has an eight inch diameter and weighs approximately one pound.
The possible user scenarios that can come out of this device range from treasure hunts to assistive technology for the forgetful. We currently have preprogrammed GPS coordinates of twelve NYC parks and use Momo as a tour guide. Detached from the map users are free to experience the city as they move with ease from one destination to the next at their own leisurely pace.

Momo developed out of a desire to create a non-visual form of navigation. We wanted to create a mechanism to guide a user that relied exclusively on the sense of touch.

Circumventing the map, Momo provides positive emotional experiences, enabling people to feel empowered in unfamiliar spaces. Visitors and residents alike can find themselves at play, discover new places, share secrets and meet each other as they move through the city with momo.

Momo is comprised of a GPS module, digital compass, an arduino board, two servo motors and a vibration motor.
Momo's armature was 3-D modeled and laser cut out of masonite. The structure has a flexible mid-section to accommodate 360-degrees of rotation made possible using two centrally located servo motors. Using your current position and your relation to North the microcontroller calculates the angle to your destination and controls the motor's movement to point you in the right direction. Momo's sweater was crocheted out of wool, cotton, and love, creating a soft, huggable surface.

Momo was created with support from Sparkfun Electronics.